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'Resident Alien' showrunner reveals how the midseason finale sets up the rest of Season 2
"The season was very meticulously built towards the party."
With Resident Alien finally returning for the second part of Season 2 on Aug. 10 on SYFY, we figured it was a great time for series creator/showrunner Chris Sheridan to dig into the specifics of that crazy midseason finale episode, "Alien Dinner Party," and get his perspective on how it sets up what we're going to see in the back half of the season.
The episode had the main players in the town of Patience converging on Harry's cabin for the worst party in the history of parties. It eventually ended in Asta (Sara Tomko) murdering someone to protect Harry (Alan Tudyk) and a baby alien skittering into the woods. It set up a whole litany of cliffhangers to be resolved and that isn't an easy task to accomplish in just one episode. But, Sheridan tells SYFY WIRE that he knew at the start of Season 2 that he wanted to have an episode in the cabin that forced many relationships and circumstances to come to breaking points.
"I kind of figured that the best spot for that would probably be the eighth episode because then it gives me seven episodes to build to it," Sheridan explains. "And in an episode where you're mostly in one place, there's not as much spectacle, not a lot of like explosions and stuff like that, so I knew that the thing that had to drive the episode was plot turns and reveals."
Sheridan says that the various plot lines prior to "Alien Dinner Party" were meticulously built towards the party. "I wanted to do an episode that was primarily in one place with all of our cast, which we had not done before. So I tried to come up with an organic reason for having everyone together in the cabin. We came up with the party idea, which seems like it made sense. But, it took a lot of thought. At first the thought was maybe it was Sheriff Mike's (Corey Reynolds) idea, but it made more sense that it was driven by Ben (Levi Fiehler). He was on a mission. He wanted, ultimately, to have Harry come back as a doctor.
"And then amongst all of that character stuff going on, building it so it comes right on the heels of the New York trip so that they can come back with the egg," Sheridan says of the alien baby storyline. "So in addition to all the drama, from a character standpoint, there's also an alien baby running around. That ultimately ended up being a big part of the spectacle of the episode and ended up working well. Everything converged at that point. The drama from New York met up with Harry there at the end. It worked really well, it did create a really good launching point into the second half of the season, and a really great cliffhanger."
Sheridan praises his cast because their storylines are all so engaging, that he and his writers were able to have an abundance of storylines to play with. "We have a lot of three dimensional characters, so you can do a cliffhanger on a alien baby and you can do a cliffhanger on Asta shooting a guy which has nothing to do with the alien stuff," he explains. "You're playing with a piece of information that two people in the world have, that no one knows about."
Resident Alien Season 2 returns on Aug. 10 on SYFY.